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Teen Pages Contributors

Exchange a smile for a frown, though life may look upside down. It’s only He who runs the show; grab each challenge, build and grow…

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

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udge Cake

By Rachelli Weinstein 

I grew up in a pretty modern community where I was a bit of an anomaly in my elementary school class. I was studious, awful at sports, and to top it off, my family was way more “yeshivish” than most. I was more than a bit removed when my classmates discussed rock stars and my knowledge extended to Miami Boys Choir, and we won’t even discuss how differently I dressed from everyone else. Friends? Of course, I had friends! Well, I was friendly with most everyone, but I sure didn’t feel like I was part of any group. I definitely got tons of phone calls — not only before tests or school projects, and I always had partners on trips — but I couldn’t shake the feeling of being an outsider. Hmmm. Was there something wrong with me? Or maybe I just needed to conform a bit — you know, involve myself in what everyone else was into — except I really did not want to! (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 699)

The Right Way Up

By Devorah Gold

It was probably one of the scariest periods of my life, and honestly, it was pretty tough to handle. Anyone who has ever experienced the fear and anxiety that surrounds a family member being ill, knows what I mean; how my heart palpitated every time I mentioned my father’s name in refaeinu, and even how my hands shook while I performed the simplest of tasks. I felt like I was living life in some sort of bubble, protecting me from the howling winds of pain and fear and questions. Mainly numb, sometimes angry; but below it all, I just wanted to know if He really cared.

Which is why, when a few members of my old high school class decided to begin learning a sefer each week, I wasn’t especially inclined to join. Apart from the fact that I hadn’t seen a bunch of my classmates since pre-seminary days, I felt as far from hearing about “it’s all good” as I had ever been. Yes, I was davening every day, but for weeks I had been feeling slightly abandoned, wondering where the sunshine was in the world. And yet, somehow, someone persuaded me to join, so there I was, Thursday night, precisely one week before my father’s big operation was scheduled. (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 699)


By Tzirel Miller

“In simpler terms, blah blah blah glucose. And of course, blah blah blah,” the endocrinologist concluded. He looked at me expectantly. I just stared back blankly, not understanding the complicated-sounding medical terms.


Uh, what did you say about blah blah blah? I wanted to ask. Instead, I replied, “You said glucose? That means sugar, right?”

“I guess you could call it that,” he agreed, finally speaking English. “A nurse will be here soon to give you more information. In the meantime, don’t eat anything.”

As soon as the doctor left the room, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My life would never be the same again. True, I hadn’t understood a single sentence the doctor had said, but I knew one thing. I had just been diagnosed with diabetes. (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 699)

Smarter than Smartphones

As told to Tsirel Pacht

When I first got a cell phone, I was in a high school where smartphones were accepted and even “cool” to own. Nevertheless, I made the decision to do what I felt was right, and not to get a smartphone. There were times during high school when I considered switching to a smartphone, but I was pretty used to my slide-out qwerty keyboard and stuck with my original choice.

By the time I got back from seminary, the world had changed. Whereas it used to be cool to have a smartphone, it was now strange not to have one. I didn’t get a smartphone immediately, but I did start to experience a change in my thoughts. I wasn’t so sure that smartphones were a bad idea. Everyone seemed to have them, regardless of religious level, and they seemed so useful! In other words, I wasn’t really sure where I stood on the subject. This became even more complicated when I was asked to share my experience with a group of high school girls and I agreed. (Excerpted from Teen Pages, Issue 699)

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